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Three simultaneous hurricanes cause high surf warnings in Hawaii

Hurricanes bring big surf to Hawaii
Despite dangerous surf warnings, some locals in Hawaii found ways to enjoy the waves.

We’re roughly halfway through what has already been an extremely active hurricane season, and Hawaiian residents are now bracing for the heavy rains and dangerous surf brought on by a historic occurrence: three hurricanes brewing in the Pacific Ocean simultaneously.

Over the weekend, officials recorded three hurricanes — Ignacio, Kilo and Jimena, all of which were as strong as Category 4 — spinning in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii at the same time. And while Ignacio was downgraded to a tropical storm yesterday, the three concurrent systems have brought massive waves and dangerous currents throughout the islands, and lit up social media:

Today and tomorrow, most of the Hawaiian islands will be experiencing increased surf on their western, northern and eastern shores as a result of the storm patterns.

Eastern shores will face the worst of it with waves as big as 12-18 feet arriving on the islands. High surf warnings for Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui and the Big Island will be in effect until 6 p.m. Thursday, and may extend as waves from the slow-crawling Hurricane Jimena arrives.

Hurricanes bring big surf to Hawaii
Experts say this is the first time ever that three Category 4 hurricanes have developed simultaneously in the Pacific. Photo: NOAA

Scientists blame the increase in storms on this year’s El Niño. And while neither Kilo, Ignacio or Jimena are expected to directly hit Hawaii, officials are warning residents to stay alert.

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“These dangerous conditions mean that only highly-experienced persons should enter the water,” a release from the National Weather Service stated. “Inexperienced persons should remain off beaches and adjacent beachfront areas. Large breaking surf, significant shore break, and dangerous currents make entering the water very hazardous. Anyone entering the water could face significant injury or death.”

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